Not Dead Yet! [Trenchant Edges]

A bit of a mea culpa and what's next.

Welcome! This is Trenchant Edges, where we go on Deep Dives into fringe culture, politics, and ideas. I’m your host Stephen, and we’re currently investigating Terence Mckenna, although that’s not really what this email is about.

Mea Culpa

I missed the last two subscriber emails. It wasn’t just one thing but a mix of burn out on writing 6,000-7,000 words/week on my normal workload, being bedridden for two full weeks, and probably the most disheartening, I didn’t get the $25k fellowship from Substack last Sunday and that kinda took the wind out of my sails.

But that’s OK. We’re going to get through this together. I’m getting those sails back where they’re supposed to be.

Because of all this, I’ve now hit my original self-imposed deadline for this whole project. So that’s not OK. I’ve still got a bunch of interviews to do and I haven’t even touched Terence’s talks yet. I’m looking to still be done on the 16th, but it’s going to be tight.

So, how are we going to handle this?

Pretty simple: We’re going to comp everyone a week of subscriber status.

Those of you only getting the Sunday email will get emails on Tuesday and Thursday, and my subscribers will have their next payment delayed a week.

Thinking About Trenchant Edges

The upside of a break is it often brings some clarity and I’ve had quite a lot here.

TLDR: I think this newsletter could be a LOT better. Much of it comes down to the last minute way I write most of these emails. Not much time for polish, let alone taking the time to structure an extended argument. It’s sloppy and not as good a newsletter as I could produce.

The solution is somewhat obvious: I need to build in more lead time into the prewriting & production process. Executing on it is somewhat more difficult, but only because I need to be writing a draft a few days ahead of publication.

We’ll see how it goes from here. I’ve been serving piping hot insights, but they also end up somewhat underbaked. Which isn’t ideal.

I also want to experiment a bit with the format, but before I want to do that I want to get some feedback from all of you. We’ve had about a month of regular posts now so it’s an ideal time to get a sense of what you think about these emails.

What’s Next?

Well, that depends a bit on you filling out the survey so I get a better idea of what’s good and what’s not.

This week’s Coming Attractions:

  • Tuesday: Terence and Dennis’ Opus

  • Thursday: A Very Terence McKenna glossary

  • Sunday: Terence Talks and Talks and Talks

Alright, I’m out for the evening.

Here’s that Survey link if you missed it: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdGLs1pmv_T-fOSP5Jg24-aX2o_sxCtx5DPJ6oQOZ6JoNMgMA/viewform?usp=sf_link

See y’all on Tuesday.

-SF